Work-from-home and remote work scams are dishonest job offers that tempt applicants to submit their applications to fictitious businesses by promising the flexibility to work from anywhere. The scammers’ true objective is to steal personal information, money, or both; these jobs do not actually exist. Oftentimes, these scams require remote job seeker to purchase training, products and even home office equipment from predesignated suppliers, upfront and prior to their official job start date.
Job seekers looking for remote work should be aware of the recurring themes in remote job scams that expose their deception in order to avoid becoming a victim of these schemes. Jobs that seem too good to be true, proposed salaries that are significantly higher than industry norms, and minimal output requirements are a few examples.
To protect personal information and finances, it is important not to share any sensitive information with potential employers until they have been verified as legitimate. Additionally, be skeptical of whirlwind recruitment processes and do your due diligence by researching the company and speaking with current employees. It is also important to remember that legitimate employers will not require payment for training, certifications or office equipment. Finally, keeping track of which organizations you have solicited for remote work can help in identifying unsolicited offers that may be scams.
Tips for Remote Job Seekers
- Don’t share personal information: Don’t share personally identifiable information (PII) such as your Social Security number, driver’s license, passport, medical records, bank account numbers, or other financial data with potential employers until you’re certain they’re legitimate.
- Be skeptical about whirlwind recruitment processes: Reputable companies typically follow a well-defined recruitment process that takes time. Be wary of companies that throw recruitment best practices out the window or approach you with a job for which you’re not qualified.
- Do your due diligence: Research the company and its internet presence, check job boards for warnings, and speak with current employees to gauge its legitimacy.
- Don’t pay to play: Legitimate employers pay for their employees’ services, not the other way around. Be wary of companies that require you to pay for training, certifications, or office equipment and supplies.
- Track your job search: Keep records of the organizations you approach and the companies you intend to contact. If you receive an unsolicited offer, cross-check to verify whether it was solicited or not.
- Be cautious of unsolicited job offers: Be extra cautious with unsolicited job offers, especially if they sound too good to be true, the salary is far above industry standards, or the output required is low.
- Follow cyber security best practices: Be cautious of clicking on any link, opening an attachment, or downloading software that the remote employer provides.
- Check the company’s social media presence: A lack of social media presence may be a red flag.
- Be aware of multilevel marketing or pyramid schemes: Be aware of job offers that are modeled similarly to multilevel marketing organizations, or pyramid schemes.
- Trust your instincts: If something seems too good to be true or if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and do not proceed with the job opportunity.
The rise of remote work has brought with it a new set of challenges for job seekers, particularly when it comes to avoiding scams from fake recruiters. While these scams can be difficult to spot, there are several steps that job seekers can take to protect themselves. First and foremost, it’s important to be cautious of any job opportunity that seems too good to be true. If a job offer seems too high-paying or too easy, it’s likely a scam. Additionally, job seekers should be wary of any communication that is not from a professional email address or that requests personal information or money.
Another tip for remote job seekers is to do your research on the company. Look up the company’s website and check for any red flags, such as a lack of information or a poorly designed website. Additionally, check for reviews of the company online and see what other people have said about their experience working with them. This can help you to identify any potential scams and avoid them.
It’s also important to be aware of common scams, such as the “phishing” scam, where fake recruiters send emails or messages to job seekers and ask for personal information or money. Job seekers should be cautious of any email or message that requests sensitive information and should never provide personal information or money to anyone they do not know.
Another tip for avoiding scams is to use job search websites that have been vetted and are reputable. Websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed can be a great resource for finding legitimate job opportunities and will also often have features in place to help identify and report scams.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick job seekers. By being aware of the potential scams and staying vigilant, job seekers can protect themselves and increase their chances of finding a legitimate remote job opportunity.